I don’t know that much about Chochma, the feminine embodiment of wisdom. But in the Book of Ecclesiastes she is a lively presence. With seeming delight she tells us all about herself, letting us know, “I was there from before the beginning,” implying that she pre-existed the more temperamental Yahweh. And being the primordial repository of wisdom that she is, she is always with us, even if behind-the-scenes, oftimes obscured by the veil; like the air, she is the invisible presence animating the hidden sphere.
What’s more, Chochma is not incomplete or needy in any way. She is the very thing that God and we seek. Chochma is not a divine energy in search of a fragrance – rather she is the fragrance itself. Says she, “I gave forth a sweet smell like cinnamon and aspalasus and I yielded a pleasant odor like the best myrrh… As the vine, I brought forth sweet savor.”
So then feminine wisdom is fragrance and fragrance is the perfect intermediary between matter and spirit. In Hebrew, fragrance is re’ach, aireborne like ru’ach which is spirit, even Yahweh seeks its invisible powers of transformation. Yahweh instructs and negotiates, legislates and rants. But Chochma infuses the realm of whispers and fleeting glimpses, of inkling, of silence and mysterious interwoven layers. Fragrance blends notes from the lowest to the highest conjuring volatile essence.
Breathing in frankincense, eucalyptus, cinnamon and rose, I inhale the promise of rising above wrath and exhale into the understanding that I will sometimes fail. I inhale again, seeking to retain the cyclical promise of Sabbath peace, the rise and fall of a slower heartbeat, the sigh and swirl of scentient being.
I like it: Ethereality apprehended with the most primal of senses….